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graphs      CLIMATE-UK.COM'S  REVIEW  OF  THE  BRITISH  METEOROLOGICAL  SCENE
     MONTHLY  SUMMARY
     No. 579 For   MARCH   2004
           DRY IN THE EAST;  RATHER WET IN THE WEST.   OFTEN RATHER COLD. 
Text Box: Generally high pressure up to the 11th was followed by southwesterlies from the 13th-20th, then northwesterlies from the 21st-27th. High pressure returned at the end of the month. Mean monthly sea-level pressure was 5 to 7 mbar above normal over the entire UK.

March opened with high pressure centred over the UK, snow lying in many northern and eastern districts, frosty nights and sunny days. Lowest minima included     -11.7ēC at Redesdale (Northumberland) on the 1st and -12.0ēC at Aboyne (Aberdeenshire) on the 2nd. The next few days were cloudier and milder with occasional rain and some hill fog, but hail and sleet showers with local thunder affected eastern and central districts on the 6th/7th as a northerly flow developed for a time. This flow backed easterly between the 10th and 12th; at first most districts were generally dry and cold with variable amounts of sunshine and night frosts, but on the 11th Atlantic fronts advancing from the southwest brought widespread snow followed by rain and a thaw on the 12th. Before the thaw arrived some 10-15cm of snow lay over high ground in south and mid Wales, while rainfall totalled 45mm in 48 hours at Plymouth.

A changeable southwesterly type lasted from the 13th to the 20th. All districts became mild, but rain fell frequently especially in the west and north of the UK; 42mm fell at Capel Curig (Snowdonia) on the 18th, and weekly totals of 120-160mm were logged in uplands areas of Wales, Cumbria and western Scotland. There
Text Box: was, however, a brief fair and warm spell on the 16th when 18-19ēC was reached as far north as Kinloss (Moray). Gales swept the country on the 19th and 20th, a gust of 87kn being recorded at Aberdaron (Lleyn peninsula) on the latter date.
From the 21st to the 25th a rather cold and very showery northwesterly flow held sway. Many of the showers were heavy especially in eastern districts; they were accompanied by thunder, hail and sleet at times, with snow over high ground, but there were also good sunny intervals particularly in western Britain and Northern Ireland. The period 26th-28th was warmer in Scotland with some sunshine, but southern districts remained rather cold with some drizzle and hill fog. Most parts of the UK enjoyed some warm and sunny weather at the month’s end, the temperature climbing to 20.1ēC at Northolt (NW London), on the 31st, but easterly winds brought low cloud and fog to some North Sea coasts.

The general impression was of a rather cold month but milder days around the 4th, 13th-21st, and 29th onwards were sufficient to lift mean monthly temperatures close to or slightly above the 1971-2000 mean in all regions, yet only three Marches in the last 15 years were colder. It was a rather wet month in western and southern Scotland, Northumberland and Cumbria, and also in parts of Wales and Northern Ireland. By contrast large parts of eastern and central England had less than half the normal March rainfall. Sunshine was generally plentiful except in parts of East Anglia and Southeast England where there was a shortfall of up to 20 per cent.
                                                                                                                                         
                       TEMPERATURE                                SUNSHINE                             RAINFALL                                                       
                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                 
                   
No. of days with grass
  minimum below 0ēC
                      Highest and lowest totals    
Maximum fall in 24 hrs
   (beginning 09 h)
                Highest and lowest totals    
Days with snow or sleet
 
Days with fog
(Vis <220 yards at 09 h)
 
     
Difference from average
   
Difference from average
             
Days of no sunshine
                      on record for month                         on record for month        
                                                                                         
           
Highest maximum
   
Lowest minimum
         
Maximum duration
       
First year of record
         
Days of no rainfall
 (0.1 mm or less)
         
First year of record
         
Days with thunder
     
       PLACE  
Mean Maximum
   
Mean minimum
             
No. of air frosts
       
Total for month
                   
Total for month
                   
                               
% of average
                   
% of average
                 
                                                                     
                                   
Highest
   
Lowest
 
Year
             
Highest
   
Lowest
 
Year
       
             
Date
   
Date
         
Date
         
Year
         
Date
         
Year
           
                                                                     
      ēC       ēC       ēC       ēC             Hrs       Hrs         Hrs       Hrs       mm       mm         mm     mm          
                                                                                                                                         
  *Hampstead   10.0   +0.1   03.3   +0.3   18.7   31   -03.3   02   05   12   04   10.1   30   096   096   1910   190   1995   051   1981   14   12   12   034   065   1910   134   1947   03   1929   00   03   00  
  Thorney Island   10.4   -0.7   03.6   +0.1   16.7   31   -05.2   02   03   10   05   10.3   30   118   089   1956   207   1995   073   1964   14   10   12   039   088   1941   162   1947   03   1961   00   03   01  
  *Coltishall   09.9   +0.7   03.7   +0.5   17.1   16   -03.4   02   04   08   06   11.4   31   106   089   1979   179   1995   059   1981   15   07   05   028   069   1964   090   2001   10   1973   00   02   00  
  *Wittering   10.1   +0.8   03.1   +0.5   18.5   31   -04.6   01   04   12   03   09.1   30   091   085   1950   197   1995   042   1984   16   05   12   023   050   1948   097   1975   08   1961   00   03   00  
                                                                     
  Lyneham   09.8   +0.2   02.9   +0.0   18.1   31   -04.4   01   06   08   06   10.8   30   101   087   1952   177   1955   057   1984   15   15   12   064   125   1946   149   1981   02   1961   01   02   00  
  Ross-on-Wye   10.7   +0.4   03.3   +0.2   18.0   31   -06.0   01   05   10   05   09.1   30   108   100   1915   188   1929   054   1996   14   13   18   041   081   1859   177   1947   <01   1938   00   03   00  
  *St Athan   10.1   +0.3   03.9   +0.2   16.1   30   -03.8   01   03   11   04   10.6   24   100   084   1954   174   2003   067   1996   14   15   18   072   110   1954   159   1981   13   1961   00   02   01  
  St Mawgan   10.1   -0.1   04.6   -0.4   15.4   16   -02.6   01   03   11   06   11.1   24   163   123   1944   196   1955   074   1992   10   24   11   065   081   1945   171   1947   04   1944   00   01   00  
                                                                     
  *Edgbaston   09.5   +0.5   04.0   +0.9   17.5   31   -02.9   01   03   16   03   08.8   30   099   098   1887   215   1893   041   1960   14   09   18   044   086   1887   172   1947   04   1929   00   04   00  
  Valley   09.8   -0.2   04.3   -0.3   17.8   31   -02.5   01   05   11   06   09.9   30   143   110   1946   196   1955   076   1998   16   12   18   039   071   1941   152   1981   13   1990   00   02   00  
  Ringway   10.3   +0.6   03.7   +0.3   17.0   31   -04.8   01   03   10   03   10.1   30   107   100   1945   169   1948   052   1983   14   07   18   030   058   1942   139   1981   13   1944   00   03   00  
  *Watnall   09.8   +0.5   03.4   +0.8   17.0   31   -03.3   02   03   09   03   09.3   31   086   081   1948   179   1995   045   1984   15   05   12   027   059   1942   143   1947   06   1961   00   03   00  
                                                                     
  Leeming   10.1   +0.7   02.4   -0.3   17.0   16   -07.2   01   06   15   03   09.9   31   114   112   1945   164   1995   036   1996   16   10   12   028   064   1945   113   1947   03   1953   00   03   00  
  *Boulmer   09.6   +0.8   03.1   +0.7   14.7   16   -02.1   01   02   09   04   09.6   30   105   096   1945   178   1997   031   1964   15   12   14   052   103   1945   119   1947   08   1953   00   02   00  
  Eskdalemuir   07.9   +0.2   00.9   -0.1   13.0   30   -08.3   01   12   19   05   07.0   31   080   090   1911   185   1929   044   1936   10   22   14   142   132   1911   282   1989   17   1944   00   08   00  
  *Bishopton   09.8   +0.3   02.5   -0.1   14.5   30   -05.3   01   06   21   04   09.9   08   098   104   1921   155   2003   039   1936   13   19   08   067   103   1921   180   1994   17   1969   00   05   00  
                                                                     
  Leuchars   10.3   +1.3   02.0   -0.6   15.9   26   -03.9   01   04   20   03   09.4   01   137   123   1922   187   1929   049   1964   17   09   19   033   081   1922   103   1958   07   1973   00   03   00  
  Dyce   09.0   +0.6   02.2   +0.2   14.4   16   -10.3   02   04   16   06   10.9   17   125   120   1941   192   2003   030   1964   13   07   06   043   077   1941   127   1958   07   1953   00   01   00  
  *Stornoway   09.2   +0.4   03.9   +0.4   13.7   31   00.0   08   00   12   03   11.6   31   121   107   1880   172   1911   055   1938   9   09   14   057   071   1943   206   1990   19   1969   00   02   00  
  *Aldergrove   09.6   -0.2   03.1   -0.1   13.7   16   -04.4   01   05   12   04   09.8   23   123   118   1927   181   1929   053   1996   10   14   11   065   109   1927   122   1940   09   1953   00   01   00  
                                                                     
                                                                                                                                         
  Stations marked with an asterisk record sunshine electronically; comparisons      
  with earlier records are therefore somewhat speculative. Thorney Island's      
  sunshine figures are made at nearby Hayling Island.